García, Taylor team for program’s 100th win in IMSA competition.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 4, 2020) – Corvette Racing earned the first victory with the new Chevrolet Corvette C8.R, and the team won for the 100th time in IMSA competition Saturday night as Antonio García and Jordan Taylor claimed the IMSA WeatherTech 240 at Daytona.
García took the GT Le Mans (GTLM) checkered flag by 1.977 seconds in the No. 3 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C8.R. He drove nearly two hours to the finish after Taylor drove a challenging single stint on a damp but drying track at the start.
Class pole-winner Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner placed fifth in the No. 4 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C8.R.
“Congratulations to Antonio García and Jordan Taylor on winning today’s IMSA race at Daytona,” said Jim Campbell, Chevrolet U.S. Vice President, Performance and Motorsports. «Their win is twice as special for Chevrolet, as Corvette Racing has now achieved 100 victories in IMSA competition. It also is the first for the new mid-engine Corvette C8.R in just its second race. This milestone win belongs to everyone who has been part of the Corvette program over the years, our Corvette owners and our fans.”
The race, as it usually is in GTLM, featured multiple tire strategies. Both Corvettes opted to begin the race on slick Michelin tires despite the wet surface. Gavin, after leading a Corvette 1-2 in qualifying earlier in the day, began first but Taylor was one of quickest drivers in the class early on and managed to go one lap longer on fuel than most of his GTLM competitors during his opening stint.
Meanwhile, Gavin clawed back from a tough start to regain the lead at the end of his first run before handing off to Milner for the final two stints in the No. 4 Corvette. He led at the time of his final stop with 55 minutes left but had to save fuel in order to prevent an extra pit stop to finish the race.
As Taylor did in his stint, García went a lap longer than most of his competitors in his first run and emerged directly behind Earl Bamber’s Porsche with 51 minutes go as the two stopped on the same lap. Patience paid off for Garcia, who made the winning pass with 31 minutes left and set fastest GTLM lap of the race in the process.
Corvette Racing’s next event is the Cadillac Grand Prix of Sebring on Saturday, July 18 from Sebring International Raceway in Sebring, Fla.
ANTONIO GARCÍA, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R – GTLM RACE WINNER: «I think we deserved this moment. We came up just short so many times even though we won championships. All I could think about when I went across the line was remembering about Kyle (Millay, race engineer, (ex-teammate) Jan Magnussen, Dan Binks and us coming so close. It’s the first win for the Corvette C8.R, 100th in IMSA for Corvette Racing and the first victory with Jordan. This is huge.
«This means a lot. Our last win was at VIR in 2017. From then until now, you look at all the times we finished second and how many times we could have won a race. So I’m very happy for today. There was great execution in the race and we didn’t make a single mistake. It really showed that we learned a lot from the Rolex 24. This was a perfect day for us with the first pole and first win for the Corvette C8.R. Hopefully this is the first of many.»
HOW CLOSE WERE YOU ON FUEL AT THE END?
«That was the big thing. Jordan did a perfect job on that. He saved one lap in his stint, and I saved one on my first stint. We were going for a green race and made it to the end. We didn’t know if the Porsche would make it, and when we came out after the last stop we knew it was going to be between us. I’m very happy for Corvette Racing and Team Chevy. We came so close with the C7.R, now it’s time to win with the C8.R.»
JORDAN TAYLOR, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R – GTLM RACE WINNER: «It is amazing. I think the off time gave the Corvette Racing guys some decent time to make some headway with our new C8.R. Our fuel mileage, engine and drivability at the beginning of the race was much better than the first race. Pit stops were improved as the guys were training through the quarantine once they could get back in the shop. I’m very proud to be here with Antonio for the first win for the C8.R and the 100th win for the team. It is a very special day.»
TALK ABOUT THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THIS WIN TODAY: «It is definitely a big day overall. We came to the Rolex 24 with a new car in the Corvette C8.R. The team did a lot of development, and we came out very strong there to come out with a fourth-place finish and no issues. Once we had the big break, it gave the team to go through data and understand what worked and what didn’t. For us, we rolled off the truck this week very strong, which was good with the limited track time. The guys did a great job with pit stop execution and reading the strategy well from the beginning. It was a perfect day for the Corvette C8.R. It’s extra special to win today at Daytona, to get the 100th IMSA win for Corvette and my first win as a full-season teammate with Antonio.»